The Bible series (on television) concludes next Sunday night – on Easter. I have been able to watch some of it and my prayer is that people will be drawn to reading the Bible and will find Jesus. He is certainly all through the pages of the OT and the NT. I have no idea if the series will draw people to Christ or if it will have a negative impact on people because of its inaccuracies. I am also unable to know the hearts (motives) of the people who produced it. So I reserve judgement at this point. What it has done is driven me to think about how the Bible itself is to be read, studied, proclaimed and demonstrated in our personal lives day to day.
The core values of an organization are those values it holds which form the foundation on which it performs work and conducts itself. What Jesus said toward the beginning and end of His message on the mountainside (Matthew and Luke) sums up my “core values” when it comes to studying and applying the Bible. Jesus said:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until everything takes place. So anyone who breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever obeys them and teaches others to do so will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness goes beyond that of the experts in the law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven . . .
Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do what I tell you?
Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and puts them into practice—I will show you what he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep, and laid the foundation on bedrock. When a flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the person who hears and does not put my words into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against that house, it collapsed immediately, and was utterly destroyed!”
Jesus came to fulfill the teachings of the OT. Therefore the OT and the NT are all about Jesus in one way or another. Every story points to the need for redemption and grace through faith. The characters found in Hebrews 11 were all pronounced righteous because of there faith. They all believed in what they couldn’t see with their eyes, and they trusted that God is able to do what He says.
The more I study it, the more I realize how true that little phrase is – the Bible is our HIM book.
We are to read it. We are to memorize it. We are to study it. We are think about it and meditate on it. We are to pray it. We are to teach it. We are to obey it. We are to love it. And we are to live it.
(Deut 6, 11; Joshua 1; Pm 119; Proverbs; Matthew 4; John 8, 14; Romans 8, 15; 2 Timothy 2; Hebrews 4; and James 1 to name a few references)
The Bible is unique. A one-of-a-kind book written by different authors containing many books that all point to one subject. And the subject is a Person. The Person of Jesus Christ. Everything points to Jesus. He gives all of the teachings clarity. Jesus is the resolution. He is the solution. He’s the author and finisher of our faith. He is the beginning and the end. If we come away from reading, studying, memorizing, teaching and even obeying the bible without really seeing and savoring Jesus, then we have missed it all.
May the Word of God speak . . . to us!
Speak, O Lord, as we come to You to receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us. Shape and fashion us in Your likeness, that the light of Christ might be seen today in our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us all Your purposes for Your glory.
Teach us, Lord, full obedience, holy reverence, true humility. Test our thoughts and our attitudes in the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise, cause our eyes to see Your majestic love and authority.
Words of pow’r that can never fail – let their truth prevail over unbelief.
Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds.
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us – truths unchanged from the dawn of time that will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we’ll stand on Your promises, and by faith we’ll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built and the earth is filled with Your glory.